16 February, 1945.  A destroyer comes in close during
preparation for the Corregidor landings.



















The traffic wasn't always one-way
















17 February, 1945. LCI's beached on Black Beach.





Air reconnaissance, 3 days prior to the Rock’s assault, indicated that the entire island was heavily defended – found 18 coastal defense gun positions, 17 of which appeared to be occupied, noted myriad caves and preparations around MALINTA HILL, SAN JOSE, and SOUTH DOCK, pinpointed 14 light and medium anti-aircraft installations, all in use, and commented on the excellent, all weather road net that covers the island.

So much of these observations as applic to the operation of BLT #3 is noted in the subsequent map-sketch. Considering the appearance of this same terrain after the completion of preparatory aerial bombing and naval gunfire, it is difficult to imagine such thorough identification of objects on the ground possible.


The plan for "L" company and "K" company to land in the initial wave, each with 2 platoons abreast. "L" company was charged with the seizure and securing of the southern half of MALINTA HILL and the tunnel entrances ranging around that portion. "K" was given the northern half of the hill and its tunnels.

"I" company, coming ashore 8 minutes after "L" and "K", will establish the 1BN and detach one platoon to destroy machine guns which were known to be present on the west or left flank of the beach.

"H" company was to be prepared to support the attack with its heavy machine guns and mortars on order and as directed by the commanding officer.

"A" company, initially in tactical reserve, would furnish one platoon per LCT for unloading bulk cargo, and stand ready to attack on order.

The anti-tank platoon of the THIRD battalion would land on the east half of the beach, the 3d platoon from regimental Anti-Tank Company on the west. Initially, this letter platoon would assist in the distraction of the hostile machine-gun positions on their flank. Both platoons would fire on targets of opportunity.

Demolition squads for the rifle companies and ammunition resupply details were to come from the battalion A&P platoon. All mines on the beach were to be at first marked and later removed by the detachment from Anti-Tank Company’s Mine Platoon. Additional assistance for the rifle companies in matters of demolition, removal of obstacles on the beach, road repair, and the destruction of fortified positions would be provided by the 3d Platoon, C Company, 3d Engineers. Detachments from 603d Tank company and 34th Regimental Cannon company would land and stand by to engage targets of opportunity.

Each man was ordered to carry ashore his own medical aid kit and 30 days supply of atabrine, and two full canteens of water. One unit of fire was to go ashore individually and/or mobile loaded. One 1/3 K and a 2/3 D ration would be carried, for use ashore on D-plus-one and D-plus-two.

Each company in the battalion command net SCR 300, Channel 37 – as soon as practicably possible after landing would report in and thereafter maintain continuous watch until further instructed from BLT headquarters.  Initial communication with elements of the 503rd Parachute Regiment would be established by the 592 JASCO detachment. This detachment would maintain a station in the command not until wire communication could be installed.

Nineteen Jeeps, 3 three-quarter ton trucks, 1 ton-and-a-half, 7 two-and-a-half ton GMC’s, 5 ambulances, 3 D-6 dozers, 3 M-7 SPM’s, 6 37mm anti-tank guns, 2 medium tanks, 3 two-hundred-fifty-gallon water trailers, the supplies and equipment mentioned in previous paragraphs, and the individual arms and equipment and intestinal fortitude of 1199 officers and men – these were the elements of BLT #3 – the equipment and the men and to whom their commanding officer said …"There’s no place to go, once you’re there, but forward. We simply take the hill at all costs and stay there until we’ve killed all the Japs or the Japs have killed all of us" ...

... the men who knew what they were going into – and went – and came back victorious.


*  *  *



*Devlin, writing in "Back To Corregidor" (St. Martin's Press, 1992) provides a different narration of the order in which the units landed, as follows:
Wave 1 - "K" Co together with 2 tanks; Wave 2 - "L" Co with 2 tanks; Wave 3 - "I" Co with 1 tank; Wave 4 - "M" Co.; Wave 5 - Coy "A", 1st Bn